Card Canyon Loop, 19 June, 2016
Blue columbine, geranium, blossoming chokecherry, hare figwort, twinflower, and the alluring violets and blues of penstemon lined the trail as we worked our way to the standing rock. Faster hikers led the way to the junction where the trail meets the jeep road, and slower hikers took in the changing scenery noting the recent work of a fire crew clearing low hanging branches, and even whole shrubs and trees.
The Daves had an itch for adventure, looking across the shallow ponds and dreaming of a route around the inevitable dusty road, and took off through the tall grasses trusting their sense of direction and hoping to meet us in the meadow. And they might have had the right idea: the jeep road, fully exposed to the afternoon sun was dry and dusty, and shared by ATVs, but lasted only a moment, allowing hikers to walk elbow to elbow and converse pleasantly before turning off to meet the meadow where Dave W. and Dave P. were proudly waiting for us, fresh off their new trail.
The meadow was picture perfect -- Susan's brief belting of "The Hills are Alive" was just a small tribute to the grand beauty of the expanse of wildflowers, mules ear and bigleaf balsamroot, basking in the summer sun with the peaks of the Bear River Range still lightly dusted with snow beckoning in the distance. The perfect view for lunch, we tucked into a shady nook at the edge of the meadow and tucked into our snacks as well.
The shady side of Card Canyon West offered the remnants of spring with glacier lily pods still green from only recently closing up for the season. With our troop of dogs tuckered out, we enjoyed the mottled shadows cast by the canopy, small jumps over trickling streams, and the unexpected encounter with a rubber boa, a real live treat as we were only hoping to catch glimpses of the statuesque "wildlife" that lingers on the archery trails as we neared the parking area. All in all a fine day and a fine hike—a great Dad's Day adventure.
Thanks to Stephanie for the for narrative and photos, and Dave W. for photos and the GPS work.